Trade groups advocating a new multi-year transportation bill have enlisted former presidents Reagan and Clinton in advertising to support their cause.
A radio ad features the two presidents speaking about the importance of investing in infrastructure, with sound bites coming from comments they made when they signed bills raising the gas tax in 1983 and 1993.
The ad is a way to promote the idea that a long-term transportation bill is important at a time when such legislation is faring badly on Capitol Hill, said Beth McGinn, a spokeswoman for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
A House proposal appears to have disintegrated after internal battles within the Republican majority. The Senate’s bill, a two-year, $109 billion measure, is now on the Senate floor. A vote is expected late this week. The eighth extension of the last transportation bill expires on March 31.
“We want to move the process forward,” McGinn said. “We need to get this done.”
ARTBA created the ad last May when congressional leaders warned of a 30 percent cut in highway funding, McGinn said. It originally ran on a local news radio station, but in September and again last January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Americans for Transportation Mobility ran the ads on stations in key congressional districts around the country.
The American Public Transportation Association also sponsored the ad, McGinn said. APTA also bought display advertising at key stations on Washington’s Metro system to emphasize the importance of public transit.
Contact R.G. Edmonson at firstname.lastname@example.org.